OHP: Teal Hunter Nearly Drowns In Sooner Lake

Tuesday, September 24th 2013, 3:32 pm
By: News On 6

A Stillwater teen is recovering in a Tulsa hospital after nearly drowning on Tuesday morning a hunting trip.

Two of his hunting buddies were able to keep him alive by performing CPR.

We spoke with one wildlife educator, who said it was those hunting partners who saved the teen's life.

Tuesday morning, three hunters were on the edge of Sooner Lake, about 30 minutes south of Ponca City, hunting for teal.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said 18-year-old Devon Smith waded out into the lake to get a duck that he shot, when he got in over his head and started to drown.

The two other hunters were able to pull Smith out of the lake.

"That very next step to walk out could be above your head," said Colin Berg, of Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation.

Waterfowl season started over a week ago in Oklahoma. Educators say the state's lakes and waterways can be treacherous.

"In Oklahoma, in particular, our water is turbid--dirty, you can't see very deep. So, wether you're in a river system, like here at the Arkansas River, where you're maybe wading in just ankle-deep water, you may not be able to see the bottom," Berg said.

Troopers say Smith wasn't wearing a life jacket. Berg said the two people hunting with Smith made the difference.

"Like, in this situation, as we experienced this morning, you've got somebody to save you. If you're there by yourself it's a totally different situation," Berg said.

Smith was flown to a Tulsa hospital Tuesday morning, where he is still in critical condition.